Tuesday, April 30, 2024

UCC Calls for Transparency in Data Sold to Ugandan Consumers

During a town hall meeting, the Uganda Communication Commission (UCC) took a stand for transparency in data processes within the telecommunications industry. Highlighting consumer frustrations over data inconsistencies, Nyombi Thembo, the UCC executive director, reiterated the regulator's dedication to safeguarding consumer rights while fostering industry growth.

Thembo emphasized the fundamental rights of consumers, ranging from access to quality services and privacy to clear billing and competitive offers. He stressed the importance of upfront communication of terms and conditions by service providers and prompt resolution of grievances.

To empower consumers further, the commission is developing mechanisms for self-monitoring data consumption trends. "The commission is developing mechanisms to have consumers self-monitor their data consumption trends, which they believe will reduce the number of complaints about data inconsistencies. The commission is assessing a variety of tools where we should select one that will put the monitoring of data usage and its quality in the hands of the consumers,” he stated.

Acknowledging persistent complaints despite operator efforts, David Birungi, Airtel's head of communications, attributed issues to smartphone users' lack of understanding. Airtel plans to intensify subscriber sensitization and community outreaches to bridge this gap.

Regarding data costs, Birungi highlighted Uganda's competitive rates but advocated for reducing smartphone taxes to boost adoption. “Uganda is one of the countries that have competitive rates of data. The average cost of a GB is about 2000 Shillings. The most important conversation we should have is how to reduce that cost; by increasing the number of people who are using smartphones. It’s like having a bus of 25 people and you are only three people on it, you pay the full cost of hiring that bus. Right now, only 33 percent of Ugandans use smartphones on a network that stretches from Nebbi to Kitgum to Bujjiji to Kabaale.”

UCC's advocacy for transparency and consumer empowerment mirrors its commitment to addressing data-related frustrations and elevating telecommunications services across Uganda. With concerted efforts from regulators and industry players, the future promises greater clarity and satisfaction for telecom consumers.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.